Chief SANDF promoting women in sport

The South African National Defence Force has taken great strides since 1994 in recruitment, training and promoting female members in the army.  Furthermore  the SANDF has promoted women actively participates as it forms an integral part of their training.

In a recent interview with the Chief of the SANDF General SZ Shoke, he says: “I have instructed my Command Council to mix sport and combat. Sport to me is part and parcel of force preparation as sports itself builds discipline, because any sport you play requires you to prepare yourself in terms of training and so on. Also sport builds cohesion and team work. Sport in general is fundamentally important in the Defence Force and it is my wish to see all sporting codes being practised and promoted.”

He prides himself on the focus of growing women’s sport and actively encourages women to engage and to participate freely. He speaks of Tae-Kwondo as being unique to SANDF and the training came directly from the Korean government.  General Shoke continues “Women in the Defence Force are free to participate in any sporting code of their choice as we have many sporting codes such as volleyball, cricket, rugby and we also have something which is quite unique to South Africa’s Defence Force, Tae-kwondo, which we started courtesy of the South Korean government, Defence Force when I was still teaching with the Army.”

When the SANDF competed at the 6th CISM Military World Games held in Korea in October 2015, the women’s golf team made history by claiming a bronze medal. In comparison with the rest of the world the SANDF Women’s Golf Team was ranked amongst the top 5 individuals as well as team competition.

At the opening of these games, the United Nations Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki-moon, said that sport is a universal language that unites people regardless of gender, ethnicity, social, cultural, political or religious differences or physical abilities.

He said: “Sports promote fairness, respect, tolerance and peace in Korea and around the world. In bringing the militaries of the world together, these games will advance mutual understanding and peace. Although greater collaboration is needed to put sport at the service of peace, CISM motto: ‘Friendship through Sport’ enables us to work in this direction.”

Indeed, in the sentiment of our own dear Nelson Mandela who said “Sport has the power to change the world”, General Shoke has taken a leaf from these global leaders and is continuously enacting this at the SANDF.

Furthermore, General Shoke goes on to include: ‘We have tennis, golf as well, something which I’m trying to promote with the women at the Defence Force and as you might be aware this month of August which is Women’s Month I decided to organize ladies golf. It’s not only members of the Defence Force but also women in the corporate world and of course women across the spectrum who will be participating.”

General Shoke’s vision is to ensure that sports are being promoted across all the codes and that the highest level of competition is realized as this presents the excellence of the SANDF.

He is passionate about women empowering themselves through sport and has been instrumental in driving their upcoming golf day in alignment to Women’s month. The invite is out to all golf players outside of the military force to encourage further networking and exposure to the members of the Defence Force.



 31 AUGUST 2017 @ Services Golf Club

for more information about the event contact Rayana Edwards Cassiem:;  0825687757 or 0118883022

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